One of the biggest sale days of the season has come and gone but some brands dominated the search bar more than others this year. To find out who they are, we cut right through the hype and went straight to the data. We split brands into five different sectors to compare their search demand year on year, then ranked them from highest to lowest.
Brands at the top of our leaderboards saw the biggest spike in demand around Black Friday. This means more shoppers searched for them specifically and, in some cases, the increased attention shot demand up by more than 500%.
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Are you one of Black Friday’s most in-demand fashion, beauty, supermarket, electrical or department store brands? Find out by downloading our report.
First things First: What is Brand Demand?
As opposed to a non-brand or broad term, like ‘black dresses’ or ‘winter coats’, a brand search is a more specific way of browsing online and would look something like this: ‘Asos black dresses’ or ‘Hobbs winter coats’. Not only is it a great indication of intent, because shoppers who search for specific brands are potentially more likely to convert, but it’s also a good indication of brand awareness. Brand demand is the total number of people searching for a brand during any given period and, depending on marketing activity, sales, seasons and more, brand demand can peak and dip throughout the year.
During Black Friday, one of the most anticipated sale days of the season, the most successful brands don’t just see increased demand, but increased conversions too.
Online Shopping Dominated Black Friday
In addition to having infinitely more options online, shoppers are accustomed to far more sales throughout the year now, and despite this impacting the novelty of Black Friday, it is still one of the busiest days of the year for some businesses and a very telling exercise on how a brand is expected to perform on the lead up to Christmas.
With a forecast of more than £10 billion and after-sale figures showing spend up by 8% on last year, Black Friday 2017 was a roaring success. But, with a drop in the number of people visiting stores, one of the biggest shopping days in the country is now all about digital sales.
One report revealed that 79% of people planned to shop online using a laptop, mobile, TV or smart device, while just 21% planned on going in-store. Another showed web sales up by 6% in the UK, with in-store visits down by 3.6%. This isn’t good news for high street brands without an established online presence, especially when competing against large online-only brands. With so much anticipation leading up to the sale, shoppers start planning their sprees long before November 24th by looking for the best deals online.
Jodie Harris, Head of Content & Digital PR at MediaVision, says, “Consumers are ready to spend their money in the run-up to Christmas and Black Friday is effectively the starting pistol for them to begin. Since the UK adopted Black Friday in 2010, more and more brands have used the last Friday in November as a platform to propel their brand into the consciousness of the customer. And it’s only getting stronger. Brands are prepped way in advance every year and spare no costs on their sites and digital marketing, using paid media, online PR and search to ensure they’re at the forefront of the Black Friday bargain hunter’s mind.”
Black Friday’s Top Fashion Brand Saw a 552.38% Increase
Black Friday is a crucial period for fashion brands who generally see an increase in traffic from existing customers as well as new customers shopping around for the best deals. With online activity increasingly outstripping visits to the high street, only brands with a strong digital presence and a clear strategy can hope to compete in the hype.
This year, a popular online jewellery brand leapt to the top of the rankings with a massive 552.38% increase in brand demand. The brand name + Black Friday is the second entry on Google autocomplete, which further suggests the popularity of the search.
Interestingly, even with a large presence online and on the high street, both Topshop and Zara saw less demand than brands like Missguided. That being said, the majority of the top 10 performing Black Friday brands are targeted towards a younger audience – this aligns with a survey, which revealed that 70% of under 25’s intended to spend during the sale, as did 65% of 25-34 year-olds.
Despite this, brands targeting more mature audiences could be missing out on huge opportunities. The ONS reported the largest rise in adults buying online was in the 55 – 64-year-old age group, which has seen a significant rise of 75% since 2008.
Download our report to see the fashion brand rankings.
Demand for Luxury UK Beauty Brand Jumped by 500%
Big sale days like Black Friday are notoriously competitive in the beauty industry. Brands go to great lengths to differentiate themselves with free shipping, free samples, discounts on high-end products and offers that run out within hours.
Jodie says, “The beauty industry has ramped up its Black Friday activity and one-stop beauty shops such as Beauty Bay, Look Fantastic and Space NK are outperforming beauty brands such as Jo Malone and Bodyshop during Black Friday weekend. These brands are taking full advantage of how a consumer’s brand loyalty will slip when a competitive discount is placed in front of them and will, in turn, look to the multiple brand stores for their Black Friday deals”.
This year’s top performer saw a 500% increase in brand demand on Black Friday. For a company that’s only a year old and admits to being ‘ho-hum’ about taking part in Black Friday on its Facebook page, this shows incredible growth and high interest on the part of consumers.
On the other hand, Lush, a brand famously known for not taking part in Black Friday, saw a -33.33% decrease in brand demand. Despite running Black Friday deals, competitors Boots and Superdrug also saw decreased demand.
Download our report to see the beauty brand rankings.
Biggest Supermarkets Saw a Decrease in Demand
Ecommerce and store improvements are a major focus for supermarkets who often start planning the run-up to Black Friday 12 months in advance.
Our largest supermarket chain, Tesco was at the bottom of the Black Friday leaderboard this year, while German discount chain and 5th biggest supermarket in the UK shot to the top of the list with a 19.12% increase in brand demand.
With neither an increase or a decrease this Black Friday, Waitrose was on the fence, while competitor M&S saw a 0.61% drop in brand demand.
Download our report to see the supermarket brand rankings.
Competition is High for Electrical Brands
Electrical and tech brands are always high in demand around Black Friday as prices on products like TVs, sound systems, gaming consoles and other gadgets are slashed and feature heavily across TV and print media. Data shows the UK’s physical entertainment market is up 2.2% YoY, with the games market growing sales by 26%, which is great news for the top ranking electrical brand this year.
Other interesting results included Curry PC World beating Richer Sounds in brand demand and Samsung coming in above Apple on the leaderboards.
Download our report to see the electrical brand rankings.
Amazon Ranks Second in Department Stores
While volatile economic conditions have created a challenging environment for the UK’s retail giants of late, Black Friday remains one of the most important dates on the shopping calendar. When it comes to grabbing market share, no costs are spared.
This year, original Black Friday heavyweight Amazon ranks second on the list with a 3.93% increase in brand demand, outstripped by one of our largest teleshopping brands who saw a 25.81% increase.
“What is interesting to see is the big high street department stores are not seeing the same growth as the e-department stores such as Very and QVC”, says Jodie. “John Lewis, thanks to the strong promotion of sale events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as well as marketing on the strength of the John Lewis name, has meant they’re the only bricks and mortar department store to achieve better brand demand than they did last year.”
Download our report to see the department store rankings.
Where Will You Be on Black Friday 2018?
In 2017, The Telegraph reported that a record number of shoppers experienced ‘digital’ queues as more shoppers chose online shopping over a visit to the high street. Sites like John Lewis and Debenhams both crashed with the influx of shoppers, and more brands are investing in better strategies to ensure their longevity over the busy sale period that marks the start of December.
A glitch on any website can cause a brand millions of pounds in revenue loss on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, which is why brands work all year round to ensure they’re prepared. By improving website functionality, fluidity across devices, check-out speed and process capacity, top brands can ensure they’re a step ahead of the rest when scores of shoppers converge.
For brands to compete in epic online sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a clear strategy needs to pave the way for a seamless shopping experience, and there are immense opportunities to be had.
Get in touch to see what MediaVision can do for your brand.